What is Pride Month?
Every June the world celebrates ‘Pride month, a period of an enhanced awareness and pride in both allies and members of the community, to highlight the impact of the community on the world. Today, Pride Month sees parties, parades, picnics, workshops and memorials for those lost to HIV/AIDS- as well as many many more events.
It’s initial purpose was to honour the 1969 Stonewall riots, a tipping point for gay rights in the USA. The Stonewall riots occurred when the NYPD raided a gay club called the ‘Stonewall Inn’ in Greenwich Village. This was as the New York State Liquor Authority crushed and shut down many gay bars during the 60’s, justified by the claim that the mere congregation of gay individuals was disorderly. The authority did not give out licences to clubs that served gay individuals, so in retaliation Stonewall opened initially as a ‘straight’ bar. The mafia that owned the bar paid off the authority to ignore them- but nonetheless they were raided.
Consequently, six days of riots occurred between the police, customers and neighbours against the discrimination- catalysing the rights movement. Before the riots, homosexual relations were banned in New York City and there were hundreds of discriminatory laws such as being arrested for wearing less than 3 articles of ‘gender appropriate’ clothing.
5 months later, activists suggested a resolution at the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations (ERCHO) in Philadelphia, that a march be held a year after the riots every last Saturday in June. This was revolutionary in their proposition for ‘no dress or age regulations’, as activism up until then had been walks in silence with formal dress code (e.g. suit and tie). In discussions around the march, the team tried to come up with chants for the attendees. They came up with “Say it loud, gay is proud.” as the official chant as many had no idea how to come out and not many were proud of their sexuality/gender. This eventually resulted in what we now refer to as “Pride”.
Who is LGBT+?
The commonly used version of LGBT+ is LGBTQQIAP. However, this does not include many terms such as genderqueer/non binary etc. It can sometimes be interpreted that there is an A for ‘ally’ in the acronym, which used to be there to allow closeted individuals to participate. This does not however mean that ‘cishet‘ individuals are LGBT+. There are thousands of alternative acronyms to LGBT+ used by many, such as GSM (gay and sexual minorities), QUILTBAG etc. It may be beneficial to start using these instead of adding on individual identities as they gain recognition, to not leave anybody out and to limit mockery towards the community.
Gay- someone (typically a man) who is attracted only to people of the same gender
Lesbian- someone (typically a woman) who is attracted only to people of the same gender
Bisexual- someone who is attracted to people of two genders
Transgender- someone whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex
Queer- an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not cishet
Questioning- people who are questioning their sexuality and/or gender
Intersex- people who are born with any of several variations in sex characteristics e.g. chromosomes, genitalia and sex hormones like oestrogen
Asexual- people who do not have sexual feelings
Aromantic- people who do not have romantic feelings
Pansexual- someone who is attracted to people irrespective of gender, can be attracted to all genders
Polysexual– someone who is attracted to multiple genders, but not all
Non binary– any gender identity which does not fit the male and female binary
Genderqueer– a person who does not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions but identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders
Agender– does not identify with any gender
These are some additional resources to educate yourself onother LGBT+ terms and genders/sexualities!-
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